April 15, 2011
Barcelona and Real Madrid showdown will make the main dish for the semifinals
For second time in history the two greatest Spanish teams will clash in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. And the Cinderella Schalke from Germany face the powerful English squad Manchester United in the other bracket.
By Andrew Hill
Historically Real Madrid and Barcelona have always been one of the biggest rivalries in Europe, which could only be compared with the magnitude of a Liverpool versus Manchester United in England or a Milan against Inter showdown in Italy. But when a clash between the two biggest teams in Spain takes place in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League –as it is the case- their rivalry reaches new dimensions as it is the most prestigious competition that any squad could wish for, and the world will stop twice for 90 minutes to witness which of them will walk out victorious from these battles to be disputed on April 27 and May 3.
This will be the rematch of the 2002 semifinals that was won by the Whites, but this time the confrontation will have a special ingredient: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. The rising rivalry among the Portuguese coach and Barcelona began when he was in charge of Chelsea, continued when Mourinho went to coach Inter, and now has moved to Spain for the joy of football fans. With his spicy comments Mourinho shows the skills of a distinguished chef when it comes to add a couple of notches more to a plate that is exquisite, to make it irresistible.
His most recent recipe is one that has been especially fixed for the taste of football fans worldwide, as it has a good dose of spice in it. In the most recent of his TV shows -which airs post and after Real Madrid games- he fixed the appetizers for the first of two legs to be disputed in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, which secret is “to practice with ten players and play with ten, since every time that I play against them one of my players has been expelled.”
“I will compete against Cristiano Ronaldo, not Mourinho,”
A full volume of provocations is what we can expect from him during his upcoming TV shows –press conferences-, which will fill hundreds of newspapers, websites, and forums worldwide. And it couldn’t be any other way around, for his success at monopolizing the attention of the media is probably his main virtue.
Despite his dishes being tempting and delicious, Barcelona’s defender Gerard Pique knows pretty well that Mourinho’s recipes are hard to digest, and has decided to pass from them at least momentarily, as well as his teammates, because he knows that they need balanced and light diet to confront this semifinals with their conditions atop.
Pique knows well that “I will compete against Cristiano Ronaldo, not Mourinho,” therefore it won’t be until a winner arises that he will be able to taste his food, but he does not have t worry about it getting cold, for we can guarantee that by then it will still be boiling hot.
A less attractive game will be held between Manchester United and Schalke 04 on April 26 at Germany, and May 4 in England. The three Champions League titles won by the Red Devils against none from the
Cinderella of the competition makes of them the clear favorites. But favoritism is worth nothing in these stages, and a good example was given by Schalke by eliminating the defending champions Inter in the quarter finals by a resounding 7-3 in the aggregate.
The table is set and dinner is ready, please yourself with the menu and bona appetite.
About the Author
When it comes to sports, Andrew Hill is more than just a passionate fan. Despite being in the early years of his career as a journalist, which began in 2006, he has proven that he can translate that passion into truthful and objective information of interest for the sports betting industry. As of today he specializes in the coverage of European soccer and NCAA basketball for BetIAS’ website.